‘Islamic extremism is biggest threat to UK’

‘Islamic extremism is biggest threat to UK’

Just one day before Iran pummeled Israel with more than 330 drones and missiles, forcing the United Kingdom to actively thwart the attack alongside Israel and the United States, an Egyptian political risk and intelligence analyst warned that the biggest threat to Britain is Islamic extremism.

Yet, he said Western leaders hesitate to confront this threat directly or implement decisive measures against it.

“Domestic security services in the UK assess that the threat of Islamic extremism and terrorism is the main threat the UK faces,” Khaled Hassan, who was raised in Cairo and today is an Islamist terrorism researcher in the UK, told ALL ARAB NEWS (AAN). “It is not the far-left or the far-right; it is Islamism.”

Hassan, who converted to Judaism eight years ago, spoke to AAN by phone this week following a series of viral Twitter posts defending Israel in its war against Hamas and calling out the West for holding the Jewish state to unfair standards. He also celebrated the assassination of three sons of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in an Israeli airstrike, writing “mazal tov” to the IDF.

He told AAN that UK citizens must live in constant fear of terrorism, especially when there is any “politically provocative” event or significant gathering in the country. The threat is “always between potentially likely and highly likely,” Hassan said.

On Monday, a survey released by the Henry Jackson Society found that nearly half of British Muslims feel more sympathy with Hamas than Israel and say Jews have too much power over UK government policy. Moreover, the survey showed that only one in four British Muslims believe Hamas committed murder and rape in Israel on October 7, and less than a quarter have a negative view of Hamas.

“A large part of Britain’s Muslim community is OK with Hamas terrorism,” Hassan said. “The question is how do you differentiate between ideological support of terrorism versus someone taking a knife or a gun [and committing terrorism]? There will likely always be only a small section of Muslim society that will act on ideological extremism.”

In his assessment, the UK harbors a palpable fear of street riots, and politicians are wary of being branded racist or Islamophobic should they denounce Muslim extremism, leading to silence on the matter.

“I am as liberal as it gets,” Hassan told AAN, “but I will be called far-right for saying anything against Muslims.”

Hassan pointed out that there has even been a reluctance in the West to enact regulations or laws ensuring that major social media platforms prevent the posting of extremist content.

“We have designed these social media platforms, and they are being used to amplify extremist voices and recruit terrorists,” Hassan stressed.

He said he has been presenting various parliamentarians for several years instances of social networks being misused in clear violation of the UK’s counterterrorism laws. However, the response has been limited to acknowledging the severity without tangible actions.

“We need political will, someone who can say this is enough and that we will take real action by implementing our own laws,” Hassan said. We have ample laws to say if you support terrorism, you are going to go to jail. We just need to enforce these laws. But we are not doing that.”

IDF Strategy
Hassan also spoke about Israel’s actions in Gaza, including telling AAN that the IDF “is not winning.” He said winning would mean that Haniyeh’s sons would not even have been driving through the terror enclave for fear of their lives – and certainly not with their children.

“Gaza is not under control, not anywhere near under control,” Hassan said. “The IDF has achieved a lot of historic milestones when it comes to warfare. However, you are not winning yet. The job is not done.”

He recommended that Israel focus on seizing Rafah and “sideline” the PR aspect of the conflict to achieve its objectives. He also criticized the US for setting unreasonable expectations for Israel regarding civilian casualties in Gaza, in what he called “one of the most complex urban warfare cases of our time.”

Earlier this month, Hassan posted on Twitter that “you have to be an antisemite to believe that Israel deliberately targeted” the seven World Central Kitchen aid workers who were killed in a mistaken Israeli airstrike earlier this month.

“We spend literally years building bridges, explaining the situation in the Middle East and investing in Israel’s standing as the region’s only democracy. What makes you think that all of a sudden, the IDF will just decide to do something that is 100% damaging to Israeli interests and to all of us who are fighting, day and night, for Israel and the Jewish people?” Hassan asked.

“Do you have any idea how many civilians the Americans killed in drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan?” he continued. “Perhaps read about Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto, who was killed in a US drone strike, and let’s have a chat?”

Other Security Concerns
Hassan also believes that Israel will need to confront Hezbollah in the North next. He emphasized the gravity of the threat posed by the terrorist organization, suggesting that any leader would opt to launch an offensive to prevent a recurrence of events like the October 7 incident during their tenure – if only to ensure their political stability.

“You know, and I know, [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu will not survive October 7. Even [former Prime Minister] Golda Meir did not survive the Yom Kippur War. A major security blunder or failure in Israel could be fatal,” Hassan said. “No leader can risk this threat. The prime duty of any government is to protect its citizens. If it fails at this, there is no point in its existence.”

The second reason, he said, is because nearly 100,000 Israelis have been displaced from their homes, and they will not go back if they are still under threat.

“You cannot have it that Israelis cannot live in large parts of Israel. Otherwise, you are not a sovereign country,” Hassan stressed. “You cannot say this is part of Israel, but it is not inhabitable. That is not OK.”

He concluded: “My message is to the decision makers in the West: They need to listen to people who actually know what they are talking about. What [the West] has done in the Middle East cost everyone in blood – Israelis, Arabs and Jews.

“The way they are going is not going to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict,” he said.

Source » allarab.news